I've been so busy setting up the Juniper and Rose Kitchen Garden School this year I've hardly paused for breath. Looking back over the year so far I'm really pleased how far things have come. The garden has provided all the herbs, salads, flowers and fruit I've needed for the school, the extra's I've relied on my local Green Grocer and my local butcher, Sauls of Spratton, and I've sourced as much produce as possible directly from my local flour millers and farmers. If there has been a fairtrade option on any of the ingredients we use then we've chosen Fairtrade and we've had lots of students through the doors learning to bake sourdough bread, make jam, create their own artisan cheeses and bake...all whilst using ethical and sustainable ingredients.
Now after what seems like an eternity of rain and cold there is some sun shine. It's glorious, and I've time to stop and really think about where we are and everything else that needs to be done. The builders are in full swing, turning the two bedrooms in the coach house into bed and breakfast and we'll have guest bedrooms ready for students in September.
Early Autumn will see the How to Keep Chickens course ready to run again and as chickens have laid all the eggs we've used as well as successfully hatching out two small clutches of Lavender Pekins, we'll some spare Pekins for sale.
I've started learning about bee keeping on Sunday morning. A wild honey bee colony have moved in above the sitting room. We'll move them into a hive and hopefully have our own honey next year too.
If you go to France of Italy in the summer months you will see that the French and the Italians have no problem shutting up shop, whilst for some reason we English seem to plough on despite that fact that half the country is on holiday and the other half are just too hot to be bothered to do anything.
I know I'm working on new projects over the next couple of months, but for now the Mediterranean in me wins as the summer holidays are upon us. My children are growing up so fast and these next six weeks are precious days. Sometimes you just have to forget technology, switch the computer off, abandon the housework and enjoy the sunshine, so we are closed for the summer.
See you all in September.